Do you believe that you can change your life and live your dreams just by changing your thoughts?
And that you can create a new reality just by thinking about it?
To many people, the concept that you can manifest your destiny can seem a bit far-fetched. How is it possible that an idea, opinion or picture that is formed in your mind can become your reality?
I have been helping people take control of their emotions and change their thinking for more than 12 years.
If you focus on the intended consequence in your mind, you can bring it into reality.
Cell Biologist and author of The Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton professes that beliefs control human biology rather than DNA and inheritance.
Here is a story he shared in one of his lectures. If you are unfamiliar with some of the medical jargons, do bear with it, because you will still get the gist of the story:
“If you are sitting there with your eyes closed and you open your eyes and see someone you love, your mind holds a picture of love. A picture of love in the mind is translated by the brain into very specific chemistry.
In a state of love, the brain releases dopamine for pleasure into the blood. The brain releases oxytocin into the blood, which is a chemical that helps us bind to the source of love that we are experiencing.
The experience of love also releases another chemical into the growth medium – into the blood – called vasopressin. It helps us become more attractive so that our partner sticks with us even more.”
So, your thoughts about an event in your life will generate your feelings about that event. And your feelings will influence your behavior and response towards that event.
Do you find that change in your life happen by chance, because of a crisis or by choice? Or do you create your own reality?
Your reality is the result of the choices you made. It is shaped by your thoughts, beliefs and perceptions. When you are aware of this, you will realize that you have a say in how you want your world to be.
No one can make you think or act in a certain way – it’s entirely up to you. This is where the creative aspect of the process gets pretty serious. If you think about something over and over and attach truth to it, it becomes a belief.
This realization empowers you to make choices about how you view the world. It gives you the ability to take a more active role in the creation of your world.
The decision to change your life begins with your mind. And it does not matter whether those thoughts are made consciously or subconsciously. You just need to be absolutely sure that the thoughts in your subconscious mind is empowering your life every day.
Otherwise, you might want to modify some of those thoughts. If your life isn’t working out the way you intended it to be, then you need to check your thoughts, beliefs and behaviors.
The brain is just the chemist that blends the chemicals according to your belief patterns. Without discriminating as to whether it’s positive or negative, your brain will ‘translate’ whatever thought you hold in your mind.
In the earlier story on the chemicals of love given by Dr. Lipton, let’s assume that instead of seeing love, the same person opens his eyes and saw something that frightened him.
In a state of fear, the brain does not release the chemicals associated with love. Instead, stress hormones – the chemicals associated with fear – are released.
This is the consequence of a negative thought, which is equally powerful in shaping your reality. A negative thought or belief can result in illness or death because it releases chemicals in our body that will not support life.
This is known as the nocebo effect. It is the opposite of the placebo effect, where a positive perception and belief promotes healing.
According to Professor Ted Kaptchuk from the Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose research focuses on the placebo effect:
“The placebo effect is more than positive thinking – believing a treatment or procedure will work. It’s about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together.”
So, beware of the nocebo effect, for it is a different animal and has its root in a negative thought or belief. This is a side effect that can occur as a result of any ailment, disease, or even death.
Remember, you are capable of changing the environment that you live in and therefore you are capable of changing your life. Dr. Lipton states that, “When we change our thoughts, behaviors and beliefs, we can change our biology.”
More importantly, he stressed, “We are the masters of our lives not the victim of our genes.”
Whether you realize it or not, you have always been involved in the creation of your own reality. Your self-identity, which was developed at an early age, greatly influenced your thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
The formation of this identity begins in childhood (as early as three months old). Your identity is shaped in large part by your parents, friends, and other role models. As does the environment in which you grew up.
This self-identity (or self-concept) is the product of your beliefs, personality, looks and expressions. It’s your entire conception of who you are and your mental image of the person you think you are.
Your brain works in tandem with your self-concept. It will selectively sift through the outside world for evidence that supports what you believe to be true. Your self-concept is instrumental in helping you write the script of your life.
And the vast majority of people aren’t even conscious that they’re creating their own version of reality. Some people are unhappy and believe that life has handed them a poor hand. They had no idea that their beliefs had influenced their current situation.
To begin the process of change in your life, do an inventory of your core beliefs. This is made up of your basic views about yourself, others and the world you live in.
Core beliefs originates from your self-concept, which influences everything you do. But it is uncommon for self-concepts to be entirely positive or entirely negative.
The good news is that as you learn more about yourself, your self-concept grows and adapts over time. You can always eliminate the bad aspects of your self-concept to improve the quality of your existence.
Now that you know how to manifest reality, what are you prepared to do to create the life you want?
One of the most powerful strategies to get yourself into this mental state is a psychological method known as priming.
This approach is predicated on the notion that even seemingly little cues and stimuli—such as a word, a picture, or an action—can have a profound impact on your brain and alter your behavior.
When your brain is stimulated by a cue, it recalls memories and prior experiences. It will look for “evidence” that is consistent with your self-concept-based perspective of reality.
This is what happened when your brain is primed:
If your self-concept is primarily negative, you will need to remove negative stimuli from your environment and replace them with positive ones.
Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman believes that a prime must be powerful enough to sway behavior in order to be effective. However, the impact must remain in the subconscious.
It can’t be so powerful that it enters our conscious thought. This means priming works best when your brain is on autopilot.
Just picture this real-world example of a visual prime…
Athletes are able to increase their endurance by the mere sight of sports beverages or bottled water during vigorous exercise.
Even simple words have a powerful effect on the mind. University of Michigan psychologist John Bargh conducted an experiment on healthy college students using subtle references to old age.
He tracked the time it took students to get from one point to another after exposing them to the words “retired”, “slow”, “wrinkled” and “old”. The college students were unconsciously slowing their walking pace as a result of these unscrambled phrases associated with the elderly.
You may achieve amazing things with a primed mind by altering a few things in your daily life. Even though priming has both positive and bad aspects, it is an effective technique for achieving your goals.
Nonetheless, change is never an easy thing to do. It takes time, effort, and ambition, and it demands that you step outside of your comfort zone.
A lot of people set themselves up for failure when they try to change too many things at once.
James Clear, the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results testifies that:
“When you begin practicing a new habit it requires a lot of conscious effort to remember to do it. After a while, however, the pattern of behavior becomes easier. Eventually, your new habit becomes a normal routine and the process is more or less mindless and automatic.”
So, change your life by changing one thing:
Just prime your subconscious mind with positive phrases and uplifting quotes. People feel that the words themselves have power, hence quotes are powerful primers.
This effective priming routine makes use of spaced repetition to create a positive association with your subconscious mind.
According to University of Texas professor Ward Farnsworth, most of us have an “appetite for well-expressed wisdom, motivational or otherwise.”
To get you started, here is a classic one from the “Father of American psychology,” William James:
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
This is a great primer to remind you that you can change the unpleasant aspects of your life by altering your mental attitude.
This brings to mind another great philosopher, James Allen. He encourages you to maintain your optimism because all of life’s adversities are temporary:
“Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it.”
In life, will there always be things that happen that you can’t control? Yes, most definitely there will be.
You can shape your life by directing your thoughts and feelings, as well as what you do with uncontrollable circumstances.
Everything begins with a thought and your thoughts will shape your life. I am often reminded of these immortal words by celebrated American poet, philosopher, and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“You become what you think about all day long.”
When you begin to connect yourself with what you want to bring into your life, you are designing a life that you want. Develop a purpose for your life based on positive intentions and your life will change right before your very eyes.
Also, I believe that in life, you need some imagination and creativity to bring your desires to fruition.
In conclusion, remember what Henry David Thoreau, Emerson’s protégé wrote decades ago:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”